War Victims Want Government To Manage Compensation

1479 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
Victims of war in Acholi sub region have appealed to government to take over the compensation of claimants; stating that their executives are fraudulently managing the claimant's cash.

Victims of war in Acholi sub region have appealed to government to take over the compensation of claimants.

The victims, who belong to Acholi War Debt Claimant Association, want government to take over the exercise, stating that their executives are fraudulently managing the claimant's cash.
The group dragged government to court for compensation in 2008 but agreed to an out of court settlement with government. Government then gave the responsibility to pay the 22,000 victims, to the association leadership.
However, only 16,000 out of the 22,000 members have received compensation money, each getting 200,000 Shillings. Even these, they say do not proportionate with the value of property lost during the two decade insurgency.

The war that last two decades, pitted the Lords Resistance Army rebels against the government of President Yoweri Musveni. Millions lost property as they were forcefully herded into internally displaced peoples camps.

John Ono Palajur, a 62 year old claimant and a resident of Laliya in Gulu district, says he is demanding compensation for 65 heads of cattle that was lost during the war. He says he is supposed to receive up to 600,000 Shillings per head of cattle which, would amount to 39 million Shillings but so far, he has been paid 300,000 Shillings.
The victims want the current executives dismissed if they are to get fair compensation.
//Cue in: "for each cattle…
Cue out:… direct to their accounts"//

Gloria Akello, 76 years of age, a resident of Palenga in Gulu town lost 15 heads of cattle, seven goats and four sheep during the insurgency. She received 200,000 Shillings. She says that because of the way the claimant's cash is being managed, government should take charge of the exercise to enable claimant get adequate payment.

Amina Akanyo, 82 years of age, who lost 52 cows, 20 sheep and 11 goats was paid 600,000 Shillings. She fears that she might die before receiving fair compensation for property lost during the war.
Richard Todwong, the MP for Nwoya also Minister Without Portfolio, hinted to URN that government could soon take over the exercise.
He says that currently, the government is carrying out consultations but also investigating claims of embezzlement of the money by leaders of the association.
The current executive, composed of 20 people, however claims it gave accountability for the money paid out to government.


About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.